Shams Charania of The Vertical is reporting that, according to a memo sent by the NBA to its constituent franchises today, the NBA Salary Cap for 2016-17 is projected to reach $94 million, $2 million higher than previously forecast. The 2015-16 salary cap stood at $70 million. The large increase reflects a new contract between the league and its broadcast partners.
A $94 million salary cap would leave the minimum salary floor for NBA teams just shy of $85 million. Luxury tax penalties would kick in if team payroll exceeds $113 million. The Cleveland Cavaliers led the league this season with a total salary obligation of $107 million. Only three teams--Cleveland, the Golden State Warriors, and the Los Angeles Clippers--currently carry a payroll exceeding the $94 million projected cap line. The Portland Trail Blazers carry $62 million on the books currently. They're obligated to $49 million next season but that number will change depending on the status of restricted free agents, cap holds, plus any other deals they make in the meantime.
Charania explains how the rising cap will affect maximum contracts:
The maximum player salaries are now expected to be $22 million for tier 1, $26.4 million for tier 2 and $30.8 million for tier 3.
Tiers are determined by years of experience in the league: Tier 1 equaling 0-6 years of experience, Tier 2 containing players with 7-9 years experience, and Tier 3 players with a tenure of 10 or more years.
The final salary cap number will not be announced until July 6th, when an audit of league income for the prior year is finalized.